If you’re looking to build or rebuild your credit score, Refresh Financial got you covered.
Having below-average credit scores will most often limit your opportunities and increase your financial burden.
In fact, some banks and lenders will not approve your loan due to a low credit score. The few that do charge high-interest rates to protect themselves in case you don’t payback.
As a result, building or rebuilding your credit history is one of the best decisions for getting quick loans and mortgage approval at favorable rates.
Fortunately, Refresh offers credit-building solutions to help you achieve your financial goals while building your credit history.
This Refresh Financial review covers everything you need to know before becoming a user.
What is Refresh Financial?
Refresh Financial is a fintech company offering credit building services in Canada. More than 100,000 Canadians use this company to build their credit and attain their financial goal.
Established in 2013, Refresh is a Kelowna- based company offering customized credit building loans and secured cards for individuals with no credit or very poor credit history.
Regardless of your credit history, Refresh has a customized solution to help you get on your feet in no time. This also applies to new cardholders looking to build credit scores cost-effectively.
Overall, Refresh is for everyone looking to improve their credit score while achieving their financial goals.
As you continue reading, you will understand why so many Canadians rely on Refresh to improve their credit scores.
Who Owns Refresh Financial?
Borrowell owns Refresh Financial by acquiring it in February 2021.
Founded in 2014, Borrowell is one of the top credit score service providers, helping Canadians build and manage their credit scores.
Notably, Borrowell is the pioneer credit score service provider to offer free credit score service in Canada.
Furthermore, Borrowell partners with over 50 brands to offer multiple financial products to its users, such as:
- Credit cards
- Banking products
- Investing products
As a result, more than 1.5 million Canadians use Borrowell to achieve their financial goals.
Read this Borrowell Review to learn more
How Does Refresh Financial Work?
Refresh Financial offers two major products to help you achieve your financial goals while building or rebuilding your credit. These products are Credit Builder Loan and Secured Card.
In addition, Refresh’s Black Tier is an all-in-one credit-building toolkit that has everything you need to improve your credit score.
That said, Refresh obtains your information before using any of these products in order to offer a customized credit building solution.
When you use the Credit Builder Loan or Secured Card, Refresh reports your payment to credit bureaus. This helps build or rebuild your credit score to get the loan you want.
Is Refresh Financial Legit?
Absolutely. Refresh Financial is a legit credit building lender with A- rating on Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Furthermore, Borrowell, Refresh’s parent company, has an A+ rating on Better Business Bureau (BBB).
That said, Refresh is trusted by over 100,000 Canadians, while Borrowell has more than 1.5 million users.
In addition, Refresh doesn’t conduct credit checks on all its products and offers advanced encryption to protect your personal information.
However, you can always report fraudulent charges on your account to Refresh at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-746-4840 by 10am – 6pm ET (Monday to Friday).
Overall, Refresh is legit and safe, and you use it as your vehicle for building or rebuilding your credit score.
Who Can Use Refresh Financial?
Refresh is available for anyone looking to build or rebuild their credit history. However, not everyone can qualify for Refresh services.
Thus, you must meet the following requirements to be eligible for Refresh credit building services:
- Reach the age of majority in your province or territory
- Be a permanent Canadian resident
- Have an active bank account
- Have a valid government-issued ID
- Be willing to offer your proof of monthly income
- Accept to make a security deposit (i.e., secured card application)
In summary, once you prove your ability to meet your monthly payments, interest rate, and fees, you can easily qualify for Refresh services.
Refresh Financial Credit Building Services
As mentioned previously, Refresh offers two major credit building products: Credit Builder Loan and Secured Loan. But it doesn’t end there.
Here are all the credit building services of Refresh.
1. Credit Builder Loan
|Size||$1,250 – $10,000|
|Term||36 to 60 months|
A Credit Builder Loan is a type of saving program that helps you build your credit. Every payment you make is reported to credit bureaus to increase your credit score.
The Refresh Financial Credit Builder Loan allows you to save up to $10,000 in a secured account with a 19.99% annual interest rate.
Unlike other types of loans, you can’t access an approved Credit Builder Loan until you completely pay it off. As a result, it helps you build up your savings and credit score at once.
2. Secured Card
|Credit Limit||$200 – $10,000|
A secured credit card helps you build your credit score by using it to make everyday purchases.
Unlike regular credit cards, a secured card doesn’t have up-front credit. So you must deposit to use it like a regular credit card. Refresh offers up to $10,000 credit depending on your deposit.
The deposit protects the lender and credit card when you fail to pay the borrowed credit.
As you make everyday purchases within your credit limit, Refresh reports them to credit bureaus, which can increase your credit score.
3. Black Tier
The Black Tier is an all-in-one credit building toolkit consisting of several tools that improve your chances of credit score increase.
With a 30-day-free trial, the Black Tier charges $16.95/month for the following services:
- Credit Report and Alerts: Black Tier connects you to a credit bureau, giving you access to your credit score and report. It also offers credit alerts, helping you stay on top of your finances.
- Credit Simulator: Test how different scenarios may affect your credit score with the credit simulator.
- Goal Manager: Set your target credit score and track your progress with the goal manager.
- Refresh Academy: Improve your financial education with over 60 video courses and quizzes from the Refresh Academy library.
Pros and Cons of Refresh Financial
Every credit building lender has its pros and cons. Refresh is not an exception. Here are the good and ugly sides of Refresh:
- Customized Products: Refresh offers customized credit building products that help you improve your credit score cost-effectively. If the Credit Builder Loan or Secured Card is not suitable for you, the Black Tier will probably be.
- Lower Fees: The $3.00/month maintenance fee and $12.95 annual fee of Refresh’s Secured Card are low compared to the competitors. This helps you commit to improving your credit score without worrying about high fees.
- No Credit Checks: Refresh doesn’t conduct credit checks on all its credit building services. This saves your credit score from further damage, especially by a hard inquiry.
- Guaranteed Approval: Regardless of how poor your credit score is, you’re guaranteed approval once you meet the requirements.
- Additional Fees: Unlike other credit-building lenders, Refresh charges additional fees for ATM usage and inactivity. This could add up over time to limit your credit-building speed.
- Customer Service: There are several complaints about Refresh’s poor customer service. This sends a wrong signal about the reliability of the company on improving credit scores.
- No Reward Points: Unlike other fintech companies, Refresh doesn’t offer cashback or rewards points for making purchases with its Secured Card. This means you have to fund your loan payment from your pocket 100%.
Refresh Financial Review: My 5-Star Rating
Here’s how I arrived at the 4.0/5-star rating of this Refresh review.
|Credit Building Solutions||*****|
- Credit Building Solutions: Refresh offers top-notch customized credit building services that help improve credit scores of all kinds.
- Fees: Refresh has a low maintenance fee and annual fee, making it cost-effective. However, it has additional fees for ATM usage and inactivity.
- Interest Rate: The interest rates of Refresh Credit Builder Loan and Secured Card are competitive.
- Perks: While Refresh offers no reward on its Secured Card, it offers a 30-day-free trial on its Black Tier, an all-in-one toolkit for improving credit scores.
- Customer Services: Several users are complaining about Refresh’s poor customer service.
Refresh Financial Secured Card vs. Home Trust Secured Visa
is one of the major competitors of Refresh Secured Visa in Canada.
Regardless of your credit history or bankruptcy history, the Home Trust Secured Visa can help you improve your credit score with secured credit.
Like Refresh Secured Visa, the Home Trust Secured Visa offers up to $10,000 credit. However, it has a relatively high-interest rate (19.99%) compared to the Refresh Secured Card interest rate (17.99%).
While the Refresh Secured Card had maintenance and annual fee, Home Trust Secured Visa charges no fee.
Furthermore, Home Trust Secured Visa covers all your purchases with 90 days of Purchase Protection, giving you additional security.
How to Open a Refresh Financial Account
Once you meet the requirements discussed above, opening a Refresh account takes only a few minutes.
Here are the steps of opening a Refresh account:
- Visit the Refresh Financial programs page
- Choose the program you want by clicking “Get started”
- Enter your first and last name
- Verify your email
- Choose your Pack
- Provide required documents (such as government-issued ID, SIN, and proof of income)
That said, you can use Refresh on its website or mobile app available on Google Playstore and App Store.
How Do I Contact Refresh Financial?
Getting personal loans or mortgages with poor or no credit history could be impossible.
But credit building service providers such as Refresh help you improve your credit score to get approval on any loan you want.
This doesn’t imply you should rush into using a credit service builder without understanding its pros and cons.
Even if you meet the requirements of Refresh, ensure you can meet your monthly payments, interest rates, and fees before applying. Else, you will compound your problem by attracting more charges to yourself.
Overall, my Refresh review is positive, and I recommend it to anyone looking to build or rebuild their credit score.
So the question is, is Refresh perfect for you? If yes, take the next step of using it to build your credit score.
Does Refresh Financial Report to Credit Bureau?
Yes, Refresh reports to two major credit bureaus, namely Equifax and Transunion.
How Often Do Refresh Report to the Credit Bureaus?
Refresh reports to Equifax and Transunion every month.
How Much Can My Credit Score Increase with Refresh?
There’s no guarantee on how much your credit score will increase with Refresh. This is because credit score increase is determined by your credit history, credit usage, payment history, and other factors.
However, your payment history is one of the major factors that determine your credit score increase. As a result, it’s essential to meet your monthly payments, interest rates, and fees.
Does Refresh Financial Charge a Withdrawal Fee?
Yes. Refresh charges a $20 withdrawal fee.
How Long Will it Take for Me to Get My Funds From Refresh?
It takes 10 to 15 working days to get your funds in your account after requesting a withdrawal.
However, it may take longer if you recently requested another payment or have a pending payment. Refresh processes old requests before new ones.
How is Interest Calculated on Refresh Secured Card?
Refresh Secured Card has a 17.99% interest rate. If you fail to make a full-balance payment after the 21-days grace period, the interest accumulates on the outstanding balance and is added to your next payment.
If you have more questions about this Refresh review, drop them in the comment section.
Hi, I'm Adeola Adegoke. I am a licensed Insurance Broker in Manitoba, and I hold a master’s degree in Mathematical Sciences (with a major in Financial Modeling) from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), Tanzania.
Also, I have a second master's degree in Statistics from the University of Regina, and I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. in Statistics at the University of Manitoba.
The primary purpose of Money Reverie is to help everyday Canadians make better financial decisions by providing up-to-date financial news and information, reports, product reviews, and government programs.